HOMESTEAD, FL – NOVEMBER 17: Jimmie Johnson (C), driver of the #48 Lowe’s/Kobalt Tools Chevrolet, poses with team owner Rick Hendrick (L) and crew chief Chad Knaus (R) in Champions Victory Lane with their six trophies after the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 17, 2013 in Homestead, Florida. Photo – Robert Laberge/Getty Images
It’s said reaching the top is the easy part; staying there is more difficult.
For Rick Hendrick, the climb up the mountain required a decade of hard work culminating in Hendrick Motorsports capturing its first NASCAR premier series championship in 1995.
Two decades later, Hendrick’s Chevrolet team remains stock car racing’s platinum standard: a record 12 NASCAR premier series titles – including Jimmie Johnson’s record-matching seventh crown in 2016 – and 245 victories with 16 different drivers.
“It just seems like yesterday we didn’t think we’d even make it through our first year (1984) and now we’ve won 12 of these things, and it’s hard to do,” said Hendrick following Johnson’s title-winning victory last November at Homestead-Miami Speedway in south Florida.
The 67-year-old Hendrick will reach yet another career milestone on Friday when he’s inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame (8 p.m. ET on NBCSN). The Class of 2017 includes fellow team owner Richard Childress, former Hendrick Motorsports drivers Mark Martin and Benny Parsons and pioneer car owner Raymond Parks. Continue reading